Delayed effects of fire on habitat use by large herbivores in Acacia drepanolobium savanna

Author(s)Miguel A. Zavala and Ricardo M. Holdo
Year Published2005
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Page Numbers155–157
Size64.03 KB

Fire is frequently used as a wildlife management tool in savanna habitats (Trollope, 1982). Burning stimulates sprouting of plants (Vesey-Fitzgerald, 1971), improving forage quality (Komarek, 1967; Dorgeloh, 1999). Several studies have supported quantitatively what has been well known by managers for some time, namely that ungulates are attracted by resprouting vegetation in recently burned areas (Moe, Wegge & Kapela, 1990; Wilsey, 1996; Tomor & Owen-Smith 2002). Rapid resprouting initiated by fire, and reinforced by herbivory (cf. McNaughton, 1985), may contribute to attract herbivores consistently to the same areas in a feedback loop (Fuhlendorf & Engle 2004). Most of these studies have generally taken place shortly after burning occurred, so the present work was conducted with the aim of testing whether herbivores prefer burnt areas in subsequent growing seasons, i.e. when the short-term response to fire is no longer important.

Keywords: Large herbivores, Prescribed burns, habitat use, Herbivory, Resprouting

Authors: Miguel A. Zavala and Ricardo M. Holdo

Journal: African Journal of Ecology

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